Saturday, April 16, 2011

So they're evacuating because...?

The media reported today that radiation levels in Namie, 30 km from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, were significantly higher than normal.  The accumulated radiation level stood at 17,000 microsieverts since the March 11 incident.  Namie is one of the areas being considered for evacuation.

But how much is 17,000 microsieverts?  Well, it's 17 millisieverts.  100 millisieverts over the course of a year is barely cause for alarm...current radiation workers at Fukushima have had their acceptable levels raised to 250, though this is because of the emergency situation.  And even that is not...anything that can reliably be linked to danger.

These evacuations are causing extraordinary disruption to the lives of tens of thousands of people, costing millions of dollars in the short-term, tens of millions in the long-term, and damaging the production capacity of one of Japan's largest agricultural areas. 

Is it really worth it?

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